Mark Cavendish's Diet For The Gold
After having won one of the toughest races on the planet, Tour De France, cyclist Mark Cavendish is Britain’s biggest hope to win the gold this Olympics. This record breaking champion is following a special diet so that he can give his best in the upcoming game. Like all professional cyclists, Mark is working to lower his body weight as the lighter he is, the faster he can move. A cyclist should have a high calorie diet that will give sufficient energy for the sport which needs a lot of endurance. In this blog we will look at what the ideal diet for gold medal aspirant star cyclists like Mark Cavendish should include.
Endurance Building Diet For A Cyclist
The main goal of nutrition for a cyclist is to build endurance which is the core for performance in this grueling sport. A well balanced diet that provides plenty of calories in the form of carbohydrates is a priority. The diet must also have the right amount of fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It should help build stamina and prevent the muscles from getting fatigued. All nutrients mentioned above should be provided as any deficiency can negatively affect performance on race day. Stress is given on 3- 4 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Ideal Diet For A Cyclist
According to nutritionists, 4000 – 5000 calories are needed on an average by a cyclist per day and depend on individual body weights. On an average, an Olympic cyclist will require at least 60 calories per kg body weight and this can be attained from a combination of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Carbohydrates- It should make up for about 60% of the total calories and up to 11 g can be consumed per kg body weight. The sources should be complex carbohydrates like whole cereals and breads, fruits such as bananas and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Without a well planned carbohydrate diet menu, the cyclist can lose a lot of weight which will automatically reduce speed and endurance.
Proteins- Due to the constant work done by the muscles, there should be plenty of protein for wear and tear which is extremely common in cycling. If this is not done, muscles will lose their strength and be incapable of peak performance. Lean meat and red meat (With excess visible fat trimmed), eggs, dairy products and lentils should be present in all meals and must be combined with carbohydrates for a balanced diet.
Fats- They are important as they are rich in essential fatty acids and aid in the absorption of many vitamins. The maximum limit of fat intake is 30% of the total calories as any more will cause an athlete to gain weight. Also, excess fat can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases in the future.
Fluids- They are a must on training days and of course on the main day of the race. Small sips of water every 15 minutes are critical and play a very important role in overall performance of a player. The source of fluids are plain water and energy drinks.
Banned Supplements For Cyclists
Growth hormone and steroids have been banned and sports stars are encouraged to get all nutrients from a well balanced diet.
Mark Cavendish's Diet
His main focus is to maintain a low body weight without affecting fitness. He keeps away from all processed and sugary food as they contribute to unnecessary calories and do not provide the body with other essential nutrients. He is careful about his fat intake and keeps it to a minimum. Soft drinks, sweet, chocolates and takeaways are a big no no in this champions diet. He believes that healthy meal plans for athletes is priority.
He eats two big meals a day which are breakfast and dinner. To fuel up in between, he has small portions of food over the day.
On race day he eats a light breakfast that usually consists of cereals a few hours before the event. A small snack every 20 km of the race is eaten to ensure that energy levels do not fall low.
According to Nutritionist Amanda Carlson-Phillips, not drinking enough water is a common that mistake many cyclists make. Hydration is high priority for Mark and he has plenty of fluids on training days to prevent dehydration. When he is racing he hydrates himself with water and energy drinks as often as he can.
Mark Loves Italian Food
His favorite cuisine till date is Italian and is the reason why he moved up to stay in Italy. Quite a healthy food choice, we must say!
Mark is sure in the running for the gold this Olympics especially after having a great win behind him. His disciplined diet and training will surely give him the edge that he needs. All the best for race day Mark!